Out of the London fog, a mysterious stranger arrives on the Buntings’ doorstep seeking lodgings and a kindly ear – but a horrifying secret lurks behind his gentlemanly façade. Can Mrs Bunting uncover the true nature of his strange obsessions and avert looming disaster for her family? Marie Belloc Lowndes’s psychological thriller The Lodger (1913) was the first novelization of the infamous and still-unsolved “Jack the Ripper” murders of 1888. The novel transformed a sordid story of the London streets into a taut domestic tale of conflicted motivations, uncertain loyalty, and slow-burning terror. Lowndes, a contemporary – and rival – of Agatha Christie, adopted and subverted the detective fiction genre in order to explore women’s roles within the family and within larger society in ways that still resonate strongly today.
GOSH! What an excellent book this appears to be! What an insightful scholarly introduction! What solid research! And what a fantastic preorder discount! (Buy it in August for a 50% discount, to be shipped September 1. Also available as an ebook on that date.) Everyone should purchase it immediately, probably! Especially if they like any of the following: mystery novels, women’s literary history, Jack the Ripper, psychological thrillers, feminist writers.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult Category: Drama Print book price range: $11-$13 eBook price range: .99 – FREE About The Greeks of Beaubien Street: Nestled below the skyline of Detroit you’ll find Greektown, a few short blocks of colorful bliss, warm people and Greek food. In spite of growing up immersed in the safety of her family and their rich culture, Jill Zannos doesn’t fit in. A Detroit homicide…
So if that's your dream date what kind of girls are you into? If you don't mind me asking x
Hmmm musically talented women, punk women, women into feminism and anarchism, art babes, older women, fictional police detectives, redhead babes I can cosplay queer Dana Scully and Stella Gibson with, Gillian Anderson in general, women in general.
Summer is just around the corner. I hope everyone is ready for another season of Women in Detective Fiction Book Club! If you have any books you would like to recommend for the summer, or any books you would like us to read, send me a message here or a tweet, @WomenCrimeFic.
I will have a final list of books posted here and on our GoodReads page by the end of May.
From the prologue of Kelly Braffet’s “Last Seen Leaving,” one may be under the impression that the man giving the girl a lift after her car accident is up to no good as he passes the location where she specifically requested to be dropped off. Typically, when we see a stranded woman being picked up by a strange man we assume it’s not going to end well.
And it’s assumptions like this one that Braffet plays with throughout the book.
Unless you read the overly talkative book summary, this initial reaction to George may return when you encounter him again.
I’ll admit it–I fell momentarily into the assumption trap. I allowed myself to be creeped out because of the combination of George’s social awkwardness with the corpses conveniently washing up on shore. I persistently fought against the idea that George was the killer because it seemed entirely too convenient of a plot and would be disappointing for readers, or at least to me. George doesn’t seem dangerous. Just awkward.
We may want to believe he’s the beach serial killer because it’s comfortable to assume so, whereas it’s not comforting to imagine that the serial killer remains unknown. There seems to be a need to place the blame on someone, so we turn to the “creepy” guy, who is only creepy because he doesn’t seem to get out much and his social skills amount to a whomping Zero. But, because we see him and his “awkwardness” in relation to the unknown serial killer and the discovery of more bodies, everything George does becomes suspicious. [ex: Thinking he’s trying to hide his face from identification when the food is delivered or the manager knocks on the door. Heaven forbid the man may actually need to go to the bathroom].
I wrote to Braffet about her approach to George and here’s what she said:
“My hope with the end of Last Seen Leaving was that the questions I left unanswered would point people to the questions that I did resolve, which were in my mind the meat of the story: if Anne could reconcile herself to never knowing what happened to Nick, and if Miranda could reconcile herself to having only one, highly imperfect parent. I didn’ t intend George to be the serial killer. He’s a computer programmer, that’s all. My thinking was that he was contracted to the CIA, and found his way into some files he shouldn’t have been in; the people who come to question Miranda in the hospital are mostly interested in that. Honestly, I wrote that book quite a few years ago, and I can’t really remember if I’d intended the feds to actually mislead the public into thinking that he was the serial killer or not - either way, that’s what Miranda thinks, that he keeps showing up right before the bodies wash up, and that’s why she jumps out of the car.”
For those of you who have read LSL, what was your impression of George? Creepy? Serial Killer? Lonely? Really Miranda’s Dad?
Here’s a short clip in which Mina discusses women in crime fiction. Woot!
“Now you can have a female protagonist and it’s almost incidental that they’re female because people don’t comment on their gender all the time […] They’re no tied down like they used to be.” -Denise Mina